Go Commentary: Ke Jie vs Kang Dongyun – 20th LG Cup

This game is from the 20th LG Cup, quarter finals.

It was played between Ke Jie 9p and Kang Dongyun 9p on November 16, 2015, in Gangwon, Korea.

Kang Dongyun 9 dan and Ke Jie 9 dan at the 20th LG Cup, quarter finals.

Kang Dongyun 9 dan and Ke Jie 9 dan at the 20th LG Cup, quarter finals.

Kang Dongyun

Kang Dongyun is ranked #4 in Korea. He was born in 1989, and became a pro in 2002.

He won two rookies’ tournaments – 5th Osram Korea Cup and 9th SK Gas Cup in 2005, and he was regarded as a top prospect.

In 2007, he won the 4th Electro Land Cup by defeating Lee Changho 9p, and it was very sensational because Lee Changho was still dominating against young talented players by the time.

In 2009, he played against Lee Sedol 9p at the 13th Chunwon (Korean Tengen) final, and Kang defeated his toughest opponent by 3-2.

Kang Dongyun 9 dan, thinking about his next move.

Kang Dongyun 9 dan, thinking about his next move.

In the same year, he proceeded to the final of the 22nd Fujitsu Cup, and his opponent was Lee Changho again.

Lee Changho wasn’t as strong and powerful as before, and Kang Dongyun became a new world champion by defeating Lee.

After he won the Fujitsu Cup, many of his fans expected him to win more titles in the near future, but he’s only added one more title – the 8th Siptan (Korean Judan) in 2013.

However, he’s still one of top players, and his performance in the international tournaments in 2015 was quite impressive, along with Park Younghun 9p.

In this LG Cup, he defeated Li Kang 6p and An Jungki 1p to play against Ke Jie.

Ke Jie

Ke Jie is ranked #1 in China, and apparently he’s the strongest player in the world at the moment.

Ke Jie 9 dan, thinking about the opening.

Ke Jie 9 dan, thinking about the opening.

Ke Jie was born in 1997, and he became a pro in 2008.

His first couple of years of his professional career wasn’t very special.

However, he’s been getting stronger and competitive, and eventually his potential burst in 2014.

He was relatively unknown only about two years ago, but he becomes a new iconic star in the Go world today.

He won the 16th Ahan Tongshan Cup in 2014, and that was his first career title.

At the end of 2014, he defeated Choi Cheolhan 9p and Park Junghwan 9p in the quarter finals and semifinals at the 2nd Bailing Cup to face with Qiu Jun 9p in the final.

The final series of best of five was fierce and exciting. Qiu Jun’s play was very persistent and intense, but Ke barely managed to win the final to become a new world champion with a 3-2 score.

The 15th Liguang Cup final was another interesting match between ranked #1 and #2 in China.

The final between Shi Yue #1 and Ke Jie #2 was played in April, 2015. Ke defeated Shi in that final, and it proved that Ke Jie is ready to become a new super star.

Just about a week ago, he won the 2015 Samsung Cup by defeating Shi Yue again with a 2-0 score.

Ke Jie’s won two international titles this year, and he aims for triple crown in the final of 2nd MLily Cup against Lee Sedol, starting from December 30, 2015.

In this LG Cup, he defeated Byun sangil 4p and Choi Cheolhan 9p to face against Kang Dongyun.

Anyway, let’s have a look at the interesting game played between great players.

Commented game record

Ke Jie vs Kang Dongyun


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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About Younggil An

Younggil is an 8 dan professional Go player with the Korean Baduk Association. He qualified as a professional in 1997 and won an award for winning 18 consecutive professional matches the following year. After completing compulsory military service, Younggil left Korea in 2008, to teach and promote the game Go overseas. Younggil now lives in Sydney, Australia, and is one of the founders of Go Game Guru. On Friday evenings, Younggil is usually at the Sydney Go Club, where he gives weekly lessons and plays simultaneous games.

You can follow Go Game Guru on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube.


  1. Thanks for the commentary. Always a pleasure to read them.
    Recent games of top pro scare me, one small mistake and this is over. ^^

  2. Thank you for this great commentary, I am excited to see the analysis of rare top game lost by Ke Jie in 2015 🙂

  3. Thank you for explaining this high level game. I sense that the current group of top players have matured into a new level of perfect play, despite their young age.

    One question, about B 61 (the first time I replayed the game a while back I didn’t like it, but who am I to critisize). You mention it is the wrong direction, would a move at E6 have been the correct move?

    Kind regards,

  4. Thank you. It’s always a pleasure to read your comments.

  5. Could you comment on a possible variation after 25. c9, or is it simply a bad move? I see W quite thick on the left as well as on the lower side so he could pick up a fight on either side.

    • Younggil An says:

      Yes, you can see one variation after Black 25.

      Trying to fight on the left side is also possible, but White wanted to take sente, so he chose White 26 in the game.

  6. Hello Sensei

    A big request: is there a korean site from where to watch/ download older korean games ? Like Cho Namcheol, , Kim In, Yun Kihyun, Ha Chanseok etc especially the period 1950-1990.
    The best site I have already found is a chinese one 🙂 http://web2go.board19.com/gopro/pro_list.php?ar=KR but there, only some final games appears.
    Curiously it has more korean games than another site, https://badukmovies.com/pro_games which is hosted by another korean pro Yun Young-sun.
    Thanks a lot

    P.S Your comments are really nice even though for me these modern games are difficult to follow.

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks for your request, but I’m afraid that it’s hard to find.

      I generally use CyberOro or Go4Go to find game records, but those players you mentioned are too old, and it’s not easy to find their games.

      I’m sorry that I can’t be a help, but I hope you will soon find a site where you can watch the old games.

  7. Great commentary, thank you.
    It’s really nice to see someone showing dominance in go world. And then we could learn how to defeat “the strongest”, :b.

    • Younggil An says:

      Yes, that will be interesting to see, and there might be a new paradigm in Go to defeat the strongest as you mentioned. 🙂

  8. Thank you! Intresting game! And intresting comments! Your site is wicked!

  9. Close game! I’m a big fan of Kang’s, so I’m always excited when I see him performing well in the title scene.

    • Same here!

      Thanks for the great commentary!
      It’s only a bit hard for me to accept that Kang didn’t consider j16 for move 78.
      Perhaps he read there something he didn’t like…

  10. Could you explain more about the move 79 of black. Is there the way for w to connect there or sth to make black afraid, if i were black, i would play the cap without thinking

  11. Dear Mr. Younggil An,

    Thank you for your fantastic analysis. Ke Jie would have certainly win if had he played white.

    BTW have you seen his third match with Sedol Lee? http://gokifu.com/s/2ia2-gokifu-20151218-Ke_Jie%289p%29-Lee_Sedol%289p%29.html

    • Roland California says:

      Ke did not seem to take this game seriously, after his dominant wins vs. Lee right before. He could have used white in this game, but he went for black.

      He has room to improve as black. He has been playing the same opening for awhile. Kim J. also uses that opening sometimes, and often lost with it.

      Ke has been doing well with that opening. But it will be very well researched. So he needs to diverse to 2 or 3 openings. What do you guys think?

      After he does that and improve his opening, he will increase his win rate as black. Then it will be very hard to win 1 game vs. him next year 🙂

  12. Very cool game and thank you for your comments . Hope to see some commentaries about the samsung cup between ke jie and shi yue and the upcoming final between him and lee sedol .

  13. Somebody’s winning streak as white was just broken by a crushing loss to Lee Sedol…

  14. Hi GogameGuru!

    I love your coment games but, as a 2k player (trying to reach 1d) I’d like to see some comment focus on global strategy, blance, and what are the players thinking.

    Thanks a lot, gogameguru rocks!

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks Damian a lot for your feedback.

      Yes, that’s a really good idea, and I’ll try to explain about the global strategy and I’ll guess what the players were thinking. 🙂